Worcester, MA – The Williams Men's Crew Team closed out their season at the National Invitational Rowing Championship in Worcester today. The morning saw a stiff direct headwind and fast times in the heats that shifted to a moderate cross wind in the afternoon.
First up, the Ephs novice 4+ raced in the open 4+ event against other crews' varsity 4+. In the morning's heats, Williams came through the first 500 even with their more experienced opponents, but the unfamiliar conditions began affecting them in the middle 1000. The Ephs fell behind the field, but still managed strong pushes at the 800, 1200, and 1600 meter marks.
Regrouping for the afternoon's petite final, Williams came in ready to compete in their final race of the year. Williams had a strong start, and went up on the rest of the field through the first quarter of the race. Through the middle of the race, the field began to pull back on Williams, but in the final sprint the novices had their best sprint of the season, finishing just in third in 7:22, just .5 seconds off of UNH in second.
Coxswain Eshaan Patel '21 says that his boat "agreed that this was definitely a great way to end the season as a completely novice 4+." Justin Gross echoed the sentiment about his boat: "Considering the fully novice composition of the 4 and frequent competitions with more experienced crews, the 4+ has come away from the season with much knowledge gained and an eagerness going into next year."
The 3V went straight through to a six-boat grand final in the afternoon. The Ephmen went down on the field off the start but showed resilience by staying calm and relying on their experience being down in past races. Coming into the second half of the race, Williams began gaining speed and walking back on Wesleyan and WPI. Coming into the sprint, they were nipping at the heels of Tufts, but the Ephs ran out of water to pull back on the Jumbos as they won by a bow ball (.01 seconds). Williams finished in fourth in 6:20, and Hobart won in 6:10.
Matt Schleifman '21 was proud of his boat: "The race was one of our best, so it was a good ending for the season."
The 2V lined up against a similar heat as last week, featuring rivals BC and Tufts, as well as newcomers Hobart, RIT, and Hamilton, top three crews advance to the grand final. Williams came through the first 500 even with the field, but struggled with the conditions in the second 500, falling behind the other crews due to bobble strokes. The Ephs finished fifth in 6:10 and were sent to the afternoon's petite final.
In the afternoon's final, the Ephs had a stronger start than the morning, and rowed consistently well in the conditions. Despite their clean rowing, the Ephs could not find the power necessary to generate speed and finished sixth in 6:14.
Atzin Villarreal-Sosa felt that "We were unhappy with the results but overall it wasn't our worst race, it didn't feel too bad, but we expected better after the performance last week."
In the 1V, Daniel Queen '21 says that "in the morning heat we got all revved up but then went down off the start to Tufts. However after 1500 meters we threw together a sassy sprint, catching and overtaking Tufts to catch a spot in the grand final." The Ephs finished second to capture the last spot in the morning's grand final. They finished in 5:53.618, 2 seconds behind Bates and a mere .015 seconds ahead of Tufts.
Of the afternoon's final, Daniel Queen '21 said "we had a sluggish start, but slowly snuck up on WPI throughout the race. Thanks to the boat's resilience, we came together and finished a classy fifth!" The afternoon's final featured some blazing fast times, and intense competition for the win. In medal position, Bates won in 5:41 followed a second later by Marist then another second later by Hobart. Williams came in at the still incredibly quick time of 5:52.
This marks the last race during their Williams careers for Sam Ellison, Wyatt Millstone, Karl Bocker, and Devin Flynn. The team wishes the best to their departing seniors. For the rest of the team, preparation for next year starts tomorrow.